... ARW's real influence was in Biology.
... there is a considerable debate as to whether Darwin "ripped off" Wallace's ideas ...
Though based upon very different formulations of natural selection, the Wallace/Darwin dispute as presented by Flannery shows a metaphysical clash of worldviews coextensive with modern evolutionary theory itself – design and purpose versus randomness and chance.
DavidMcC wrote:... there is a considerable debate as to whether Darwin "ripped off" Wallace's ideas ...
I don't see how that would have been possible, given that Wallace's ideas were based on "intelligent evolution". The website below is a typical pro-Wallace site:
http://www.erasmuspress.net/Publications_3.htmlThough based upon very different formulations of natural selection, the Wallace/Darwin dispute as presented by Flannery shows a metaphysical clash of worldviews coextensive with modern evolutionary theory itself – design and purpose versus randomness and chance.
So, it's hardly likely that Darwin "ripped off" Wallace's ideas. Also, Wallace's ideas were NOT equivalent to Darwinian natural selection at all.
Question: Did Wallace believe in intelligent design?
Answer: No, no, and no. Assuming that i.d. essentially amounts to nothing more than a new name for Creationism, that is. Don’t fall for the facile understanding being promoted by some agenda-driven observers who argue that, just because Wallace was a spiritualist and believed that “higher intelligences” were influencing events here on Earth, that he also believed in miraculous, non-law-based kinds of Godly intervention. Read his own words on this matter here. Wallace did increasingly lean toward a model of natural processes invoking final causes, but this is quite another matter: even the relatively conservative thinker August Weismann was willing to entertain views of final causation (see S352), as long as these did not rely on vitalist or creationist assumptions. Are those who explore Gaian models and the various versions of the anthropic principle being accused of i.d. tendencies? Well, what Wallace was thinking about in some ways closely approaches these lines of thought–only he added to the mix the notion that “higher intelligences” might also represent an integral element in the way the large-scale program of evolution plays out.
jerome wrote:Now I noted that I did not think that Wallace was a Theistic Evolutionist. He does seem to have had some teleological ideas, but they are actually sort of reverse teleology - moving towards a final outcome, with discarnate (dead) human spirits guiding the process.
DavidMcC wrote:jerome wrote:Now I noted that I did not think that Wallace was a Theistic Evolutionist. He does seem to have had some teleological ideas, but they are actually sort of reverse teleology - moving towards a final outcome, with discarnate (dead) human spirits guiding the process.
That's bad enough, AFAIAC. As Huxley put it, Darwin "killed god", and I reckon he also killed "discarnate human spirits" with the same dagger (or whatever he "killed god" with).
Huxley wrote:“The antagonism between science and religion, about which we hear so much, appears to me to be purely fictitious - fabricated, on the one hand, by short-sighted religious people who confound a certain branch of science, Theology, with religion; and, on the other, by equally short-sighted scientific people who forget that science takes for its province only that which is susceptible of clear intellectual comprehension”. T.H.Huxley, "The Interpreters of Genesis and the Interpreters of Nature" in Science and Hebrew Tradition
Huxley wrote:The teleology which supposes that the eye, such as we see it in man or in the higher vertebrata, was made with the precise structure which it exhibits, to make the animal which possesses it to see, has undoubtedly received its death-blow. But it is necessary to remember that there is a higher teleology, which is not touched by the doctrine of evolution, but is actually based on the fundamental proposition of evolution. That proposition is, that the whole world, living and not living, is the result of the mutual interaction, according to definite laws, of forces possessed by the molecules of which the primitive nebulosity of the universe was composed. If this be true, it is no less certain that the existing world lay potentially in the cosmic vapour; and that a sufficient intelligence could, from a knowledge of the properties of that vapour, have predicted, say, the state of fauna of Great Britain in 1869, with as much certainty as one can say what will happen to the vapor of the breath on a cold winter’s day.”
Huxley wrote: I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. No man who has to deal daily and hourly with nature can trouble himself about a priori difficulties. Give me such evidence as would justify me in believing in anything else, and I will believe that. Why should I not? It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter...
Huxley wrote:When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took.
Question: Did Darwin really steal material from Wallace to complete his theory of natural selection?
Answer: Maybe, though the evidence is something short of compelling. It has been suggested by Brackman (1980) and Brooks (1984) that Darwin might have received Wallace's communication in May or early June of 1858 rather than in the middle of June of that same year, and that Darwin may have spent the extra month using Wallace's model of species divergence to complete his own ideas on the subject before soliciting the opinions of his friends Hooker and Lyell on how to deal with the priority issue. Possibly so, but despite the best efforts of Brooks (1984) in particular, most observers remain unconvinced. A book by Davies (2008) presents new evidence supporting the suspicion that Darwin really did receive Wallace's communication in 1858 earlier than has been thought (Davies also presents some other arguments), but more recent work by John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker seems to demonstrate that Wallace's communication in fact did arrive at the later date. Nevertheless, the situation is still somewhat up in the air, as it is difficult to assess just how much Darwin's thoughts might have been influenced over the seventeenth month period between his reception of Wallace's materials and his own writing up and release of On the Origin of Species in November 1859. See additional analysis by Beddall (1988) and Berry (2002).
The article is good -- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 062545.htm
In 1972 a researcher found another letter from Wallace to a friend named Bates that was sent on the March 1858 steamer from the island of Ternate in modern Indonesia. The letter still bore postmarks from Singapore and London which showed that it arrived in London on 3 June 1858 -- two weeks before Darwin said he received the essay from Wallace. Thus began the mystery -- how could two letters from Wallace leave Ternate on the same steamer and travel along the same mail route back to London but Darwin received his two weeks later than Bates did? This mystery has led to numerous conspiracy theories. For example, several writers have claimed that Darwin stole ideas from Wallace's essay during the time he kept the letter secret. But most other evidence suggests that Darwin received the letter when he said he did.
from http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2011 ... 02142.html - a major initiative, please support the hunt for Wallace's missing letters.The Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project (WPC) is based at the Natural History Museum and its Patron is Sir David Attenborough. The WCP is digitising all known letters to and from Wallace, the brilliant naturalist whose contributions to the development of evolutionary theory were as important as Darwin’s, but who was quickly forgotten after his death, perhaps because later generations thought that the theory of natural selection was first proposed by Darwin in his book 'On the Origin of Species'.
But, there are 2 intriguing missing letters, written in 1858. One letter is from Wallace to Darwin and includes Wallace’s essay on natural selection, the process by which the fittest individuals of a species are more likely to survive, reproduce and pass their advantageous characteristic to their offspring. The other letter is Darwin’s reply to this.
Wallace's note about the loss of his original essay on evolution by natural selection, ar 1902
Note from Wallace on an envelope dated to around 1902, about the loss of his original letter and essay on evolution by natural selection. Darwin's reply to this historically important letter is missing and was the 3rd and most important in this envelope of 8 letters that Wallace kept. The Wallace Correspondence Project would very much like to find it.
‘These are some of the most important letters in the entire history of biology,’ says George Beccaloni, Director of WPC and scientist at the Museum. ‘It is very odd that they were lost in the first place.'
The letters show how Wallace independently came up with the same theory as Darwin, the theory that changed forever how we understand the world around us.
In early 1858, when he was in the Moluccas, Wallace drafted an essay to explain evolution by natural selection and posted it to Darwin. For many years it was believed that the Ternate essay left the island in March on the monthly mail steamer, and arrived at Down House on 18 June 1858. Darwin immediately wrote to Lyell, as requested by Wallace, forwarding the essay. This sequence was cast in doubt after the discovery of a letter written by Wallace to Bates leaving on the same steamer with postmarks showing its arrival in Leicester on 3 June 1858. Darwin has been accused of keeping the essay secret for a fortnight, thereby enabling him to revise elements of his theory of evolution. We intend to show that Wallace in fact sent the Ternate essay on the mail steamer of April 1858, for which the postal connections actually indicate the letter to have arrived precisely on 18 June. Darwin is thus vindicated from accusations of deceit. Wallace’s Ternate essay and extracts from Darwin’s theoretical manuscripts were read at a meeting of the Linnean Society of London on 1 July 1858, which is now recognized as a milestone in the history of science.
jerome wrote:Except that Huxley never said that. OK, Huxley the character says it in the film Creation, but Huxley never held anything like that opinion as far as I can see from the primary sources: and Huxley was never one to be shy talking about his religious ideas.
[Down Beckenham | Kent
May 7th 1879
It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist & an evolutionist.— You are right about Kingsley. Asa Gray, the eminent botanist, is another case in point— What my own views may be is a question of no consequence to any one except myself.— But as you ask, I may state that my judgment often fluctuates. Moreover whether a man deserves to be called a theist depends on the definition of the term: which is much too large a subject for a note. In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.— I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.
Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin
jerome wrote:Well Mendel was doing his experiments between 1856 and 1863, so Darwin can't be blamed for not knowing about them.
As to Darwin's atheism - I'm not convinced Darwin was particularly atheist, or atheist at all. He wrote in 1879[Down Beckenham | Kent
May 7th 1879
It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist & an evolutionist.— You are right about Kingsley. Asa Gray, the eminent botanist, is another case in point— What my own views may be is a question of no consequence to any one except myself.— But as you ask, I may state that my judgment often fluctuates. ...
jerome wrote:I think it would have had no more impact than say Newton's weird religious beliefs have had on the development of physics - in fact I think that may be a good analogy.
DavidMcC wrote:... Or are you going to suggest that no-one around him sugested that it would be bad for him to remain an atheist?
Huxley wrote:I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them.
Huxley wrote: The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis" - had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant.
jerome wrote:Now, who accepted evolution in those first years? It’s a who’s who of Evangelicals...
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